Farm Management Tips for June

Farm Management Tips for June

By Daniel Hession – Nutritionist & Technical Manager



 1. Dairy

Limit milk yield drop to 2% per week or 8-10% per month. If the decrease is greater, then the reason(s) should be explored. A decrease of greater than 2% per week indicates:

-          Stemmy or strong grass,

-          Grazing too tight (below 4 cm) resulting in underfeeding,

-          Insufficient concentrate feed rate


We are now in the most difficult part of the breeding season. It is more difficult to identify bulling cows. Tail paint or such aids are now more important than ever and should be topped up every 3-4 days. A vasectomised bull, if you have one, should be introduced now. Use previous service dates from your ICBF report to guide you to expect certain cows on certain days.


Replacement heifers should be weighed regularly to make sure they are reaching target weights and so that underweight animals can be addressed. Target weights (kgs) on 1st June are shown in Table 1 below. Any underweight animals must be separated out and get priority grass and fed 1 – 2 kg of concentrates if necessary. Complete a faecal egg count to establish if high worm burden is an issue.


Table 1: Target weights for replacement heifers on June 1st



2. Beef

Keep an eye on spring calving suckler cows for signs of repeat breeding activity. If there are high numbers of repeats (over 40%), then there may be a fertility problem to address. Keep grass fresh and leafy to maintain daily gain. Fly populations are on the increase so suckler farmers should be looking to prevent summer mastitis in autumn calving cows and replacement heifers. Keep a close eye on at risk animals when herding stock daily for early signs of mastitis. As heifers can hit puberty as young as six months of age, calves born in November and December should now be split up from their male counter parts to avoid heifers going in calf.


Continue to feed dairy beef calves concentrate throughout June and July at a rate of 1.0 – 1.5 kg per day. Offer calves leafy grass and move them regularly to fresh grass. Dairy beef calves are at higher risk of worm infection than suckler calves, the decision to dose should be based on faecal egg count test.


 3. Sheep

Maintain leafy swards to drive lamb growth rates. Avoid a major setback in performance by having lambs prepared for weaning. Have a field of leafy grass set aside for lambs (after grass is ideal), keep on top of health issues such as stomach worms, flystrike, and lameness. Use faecal egg counts to determine if lambs need to be dosed for stomach worms. Consider withdrawal dates when selecting products to use for internal and external parasite control.


Have mineral supplementation up to date prior to weaning. Introduce lambs to creep feed now to reduce any setbacks after weaning.


 4. Winter Feed

Where first cut silage has been harvested, complete a winter feed budget to identify if second cut silage is required (excluding surplus bale silage) and what area you need to close. It is important to ensure that second cut crops are fertilised adequately to ensure a good yield of grass. Apply cattle slurry after first cut silage and empty slurry tanks before the winter period.



Tags: farming

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